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Epoch Games

Summary

The Lays of Althas: Sundered Order is a single-player, medieval-low-fantasy RPG being developed by Epoch Games, utilizing Epic Game's Unreal Engine 4, for Windows PCs. The game will feature an expansive, living world that will evolve and grow by itself, instead of revolving around the player’s actions.
The game is currently planned to be released Chapter by Chapter, with each bringing new regional content and gameplay features.






The World of Althas

As old orders crumble and new powers rise, it is time for you to forge your destiny.

Ever since it's early history, Althas has been a land shaken by conflicts. In the early days, these conflicts pitted the Anointed Kingdoms of Men against dark and demonic forces that threatened them. However, with the passage of time, the world has changed: the Anointed order is eroding away and new powers are rising. Another war looms on the horizon, a war of personal and political motivation. Thenodar, a burgeoning new kingdom in the North, and Anorthile, one of the last of the three remaining Anointed Kingdoms, now prepare for a war that will shake all of Althas. Old demons and new enemies gather in the shadows of both lands as each sets their sights on the ruined wilderness known as the Feralands.

Gameplay Mechanics

There are many features we aim for in The Lays of Althas: SO. The game is in the early stages of development, so many of the features listed below are subject to change:

  • Open World: Adventure on the continent of Althas. A large, open-world awaits the player with full freedom to explore. Regions will be released via Chapters.

  • Deep Lore: The world of Althas has a rich history which is represented throughout the game. Interact with environments, NPCs, and as well as read through in-game books to learn more.

  • Dynamic and Active World: Instead of a world that revolves around the player, we are creating a world where the player must learn to revolve around it. This approach will allow for date-based events to occur in Althas, even if you aren’t around to see them.

  • Adaptive Skill-based Combat: The game aims for a skill-based, first-person, system. Giving the player full control over melee swings and stabs, as well as engaging ranged combat and stealth.

  • Magic: Magic is a rare ability that the player will have to work hard to unlock in the Sundered Order period of Althas. When utilized correctly, it possesses a myriad of usages that can be extremely beneficial.

  • Dynamic factions and wars: Factions will make decisions and go to war with each other. Battles happen dynamically, according to the timeline and based on causes-and-effects within the game.

  • Multiple forms of transport: Ridable animals and vehicles will provide faster travel, an advantage in combat, as well as benefits for transporting goods.

Epoch Games

The Lays of Althas: Sundered Order is being developed by Epoch Games, an all-volunteer group from all across the world. We are dedicated to making this game as great as possible, and to make Althas a truly epic RPG experience. Being volunteers, we’re doing this for free - our motivation comes from our desire to create great games. Members of Epoch Games hail from all over the world; we are an international group, with members from the Americas, Europe, and Asia, all working together online to bring you the best game experience we can. Visit our DB page.

For more news and discussion, please visit our official forums. If you're interested in joining the Epoch Games team, please post a thread in our Applications subforum. Can't contribute the time required for such a position? We are also allowing fans to help us in the game's development: you can become a contributor by going to the Public Claims subforum and claiming an open assignment. No help is too small!

    
Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
Thenodrim Shortsword Holnas Claymore and Clan Wulfas Helm Thenodrim Spearman concept
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Althas is Upgrading Engines!

15 comments by MisterAmbidextrous on Jun 15th, 2014


Althas is Upgrading Engines!

Greetings Althas fans. We have some big news to announce (if the title isn’t obvious enough), we have just switched game engines: from CryEngine to Unreal Engine 4.

Now some of you may be asking: “Why the switch? Aren’t you losing a lot of progress?” To answer the first question: we were initially using the CRYENGINE 3 “Free SDK” and were eager to get hold of the much-touted Engine-as-a-Service (EaaS) once it was released. However, at the end of May, when EaaS was released on Steam, we were quite disappointed to find that it fell far short of our expectations. Suffice to say, we needed to find a new engine, as the Free SDK is no longer being supported (nor was it ever adequate on it’s own for developing Althas). We’ve always had it at the back of our minds, but after some thorough research, Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) turned out to be the engine of our dreams (the sheer number of advantages would take too long to list here).

To answer the second question: Yes, we are losing progress, but... In all honesty, the losses from moving from CryEngine to UE4 (mainly level design) are insignificant compared to the progress we have already made in the new engine. In just two weeks of using UE4, we have made considerable progress to gameplay systems; so much so, I dare say we’re further along in game development than we’ve ever been before due to the sheer openness of Epic Game’s engine.

In order to inaugurate this announcement, we would like to show you some of our developments since we've switched:

Holnas Claymore and Clan Wulfas Helm
-Holnas Claymore accompanied with a Clan Wulfas Helm

Thenodrim Shortsword
-Thenodrim Shortsword beautifully rendered in-engine


As a Team we know that we're in good hands with UE4 and we hope to bring you some amazing stuff over the course of development.

That's it for this week. Just remember to keep your eye's peeled on us because we've got great things to show soon. Stay tuned!

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 228)
ElfFriend
ElfFriend Jun 30 2014, 5:46pm says:

So I was basically bored and decided to look through the old MERP pages (both the Skyrim page and Oblivion page) and the music there was great so will you guys be at least reusing some MERP assets like models, music, textures, etc? It would be a shame to have such amazing assets go to waste just because they were made for lotr...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Epoch_MEB
Epoch_MEB Jun 30 2014, 8:32pm replied:

Unfortunately most assets made for both versions of MERP require too much work to port (and have look good).
We probably won't be using the music either, we want to keep our style far more consistent than with MERP. It would be great to reuse as much as possible, but we can't do so without loss of quality on Althas.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ElfFriend
ElfFriend Jun 30 2014, 9:21pm replied:

Fair enough although based on what I have seen so far most of what was made for MERP was amazing so I don't know how it would exactly result in a loss of quality on Althas :P

So long as a model has enough vertices to look good it should be used and the only major problem I see is textures needing to be up scaled but that's not nearly as much work as remaking the entire item...

And there are certainly some soundtracks which would fit with LoA perfectly and shouldn't be much work to implement.

I just don't want that work to go to waste and if it's not as much work to implement it could save you guys time.

PS:
You should probably change the summary from:

Quote:Summary
The Lays of Althas: Sundered Order is a single-player, medieval-low-fantasy RPG being developed by Epoch Games, utilising CryTek’s CryEngine 3, for Windows PCs.

To:

Quote:Summary
The Lays of Althas: Sundered Order is a single-player, medieval-low-fantasy RPG being developed by Epoch Games, utilising *Epic’s UE4*, for Windows PCs.
+1 vote     reply to comment
BlownKapz
BlownKapz Jul 2 2014, 12:06pm replied:

as to models/textures etc.:

MERP models wont be used because the import process would be painful, and since we are now using UE4 we dont have to go with Skyrims engine limits (much higher vertex counts possible in UE4) and we want to make use of that. Also a lot of the models are quite specific to Tolkiens world, and we want to set ourselves apart from that.

As to the music we have composers on the team, very talented ones indeed, so music will not be an issue in any way. Here's a link to our music overseer's personal soundcloud: Soundcloud.com , give his stuff a listen. And also here we want to separate ourselves from MERP, keeping the number of composers low to ensure consistency as MEB said.

As sad as it is, MERP is a thing of the past and this project is completely unrelated to that. :L

+1 vote     reply to comment
ElfFriend
ElfFriend Jul 2 2014, 1:21pm replied:

I've heard his music before but I didn't know he was actually working with you guys since I heard his music on Morrowind Rebirth Moddb.com His music truly is amazing! Now I no longer worry about the quality of the soundtrack:P

+1 vote     reply to comment
BlownKapz
BlownKapz Jul 2 2014, 1:45pm replied:

The music there is available for use when buying it. So it probably wasnt made for Morrowind Rebirth specifically, but licensed.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ElfFriend
ElfFriend Jul 2 2014, 2:11pm replied:

Indeed I am aware of that which is why I wasn't completely expecting him to be working with you guys. I'm not saying that people that are also selling their work can't be working on LoA but it just wasn't quite something I expected:D

Also I forgot to mention in my previous post. Just because an engine can handle more verticies doesn't mean it's recommended or even a good idea to have more verticies. I personally rather see a tone of stuff in a level than one or two really detailed items. Also I'd rather be able to run LoA without having to buy Titans:P

+1 vote     reply to comment
BlownKapz
BlownKapz Jul 2 2014, 3:13pm replied:

This isn't about pushing current Hardware to the max - we are not crytek. Engines like CE3 or UE4 can simply run more vertexes without performance impact. So combined with the fact that until we actually release hardware will be a lot more powerful than even now (or at least the average hardware in systems will be higher). So we probably can easily get away with higher vertex counts and a ton of stuff in the surroundings. And it is so easy to downgrade the graphics (keep in mind texture resolution is way more taxing than vertexes), so don't worry about it. :p

+2 votes     reply to comment
Nuvendil
Nuvendil Jun 28 2014, 11:06pm says:

Due to technical difficulties with our site, the theme on indiedb is experiencing issues. Until this is resolved, it may be better for those tracking to look at our page on moddb.com

+1 vote     reply to comment
lnsanity
lnsanity Jun 29 2014, 12:24pm replied:

Aaaaaand we're back!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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The Lays of Althas : Sundered Order
Platform
Windows
Developer
Epoch Games
Contact
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Official Page
Laysofalthas.com
Release Date
TBD
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Genre
Role Playing
Theme
Fantasy
Players
Single Player
Project
Indie
Twitter

Latest tweets from @epochgames

@Vlahktard We're thrilled that you think so! We'd love to provide you that opportunity once that term of the development cycle is ready. :)

Jul 23 2014, 6:05am

In today's news: Althas is Upgrading Engines! See more: T.co

Jun 15 2014, 7:48pm

Today we continue our Meet the Team series with part 2 of Meet the Concept Artists. Accompanied by 3 great pieces T.co

Jun 8 2014, 9:10am

As silence shall not endure, desire for new updates can thereby be extinguished, for now.. T.co Meet the Team: Concept Art

May 27 2014, 11:41pm

Epoch Games, Lays of Althas and CryEngine Logos: T.co via @YouTube

May 23 2014, 7:55pm

RT @EPG_Dan: Epoch Games is looking for a CryEngine Developer. T.co via @SmartRecruiters

Mar 18 2014, 4:45pm

RT @EPG_Dan: Epoch Games is looking for a 3D Modeler. T.co via @SmartRecruiters

Mar 18 2014, 4:45pm

RT @EPG_Dan: Epoch Games is looking for a C Plus Plus Programmer. T.co via @SmartRecruiters

Mar 18 2014, 4:45pm

We're finally back with a new Lore post and plenty of concept art. More soon. ^MEB First Look: The Temple and Academy T.co

Mar 18 2014, 4:44pm

We're feeling generous this weekend, so here's a beautiful landscape concept by Chestman T.co ^MEB

Jan 26 2014, 11:31am

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The Lays of Althas : Sundered Order
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